Published on Tuesday, September 7, 2004 by the Richmond Times Dispatch / Virginia
More Lies from the GOP
by Michael Paul Williams
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
So wrote George Orwell, who would have had a field day last week watching a GOP convention where Democrats were Republicans, enemies were friends and the lie became the truth.
Speaking of which: John McCain's "Straight Talk Express" sure veered off a cliff.
Four years ago, during the South Carolina primary, Bush supporters (operatives?) said McCain might be unhinged from his time as a POW. They also spread rumors that he had an illegitimate black child. (McCain and his wife had adopted a Bangladeshi girl.)
Armed with such falsehoods, Bush defeated McCain - the turning point in his securing of the Republican nomination.
None of this stopped McCain from praising Bush last week, leaving people to ask, "What did they promise him?" So McCain is just another politician after all. Who knew?
And who knows what John Kerry did to infuriate Zell Miller, the nominal Democratic senator from Georgia who savaged his colleague in an angry speech.
"For more than 20 years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure," Miller said.
Funny. At a Democratic Party function in Georgia three years ago, Miller introduced Kerry as "one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders - and a good friend."
With friends like that . . .
Kerry, who had the poor judgment to make his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign, is catching shrapnel from all sides.
First, the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth strafed him with their misinformation campaign.
Then delegates at the Republican National Convention mocked Kerry's Purple Heart by wearing purple Band-Aids that read: "It was just a self-inflicted scratch, but you see I got a Purple Heart for it."
Kerry didn't stand a chance.
If GOP henchmen would attack a guy (McCain) who spent 5½ years in a Vietnamese prison camp, and would brand as soft on homeland security another U.S. senator (the ousted Max Cleland) who left three limbs in Vietnam, why would they flinch at going after him?
It doesn't matter to them that Kerry, a child of privilege, placed himself in harm's way while Bush and "Deferment Dick" Cheney stayed out of the fray.
Those delegates were apparently disappointed that Kerry, unlike thousands of soldiers in Iraq, didn't suffer debilitating injuries or come home in a casket.
Meanwhile, Bush continues the dishonest linkage between Iraq and 9/11.
"I mean, what is the cost of the attacks on the World Trade Center?" he replied last week when asked by Matt Lauer about the runaway expense of the Iraq occupation.
It also doesn't seem to matter that Osama "Dead or Alive" bin Laden remains at large. Or that Bush, the self-proclaimed "war president," keeps exploiting post 9/11 anxiety for political gain.
After all, as Orwell might say, fear is security.
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